The prophetic saying (hadith) that speaks of the prophet being influenced by the soothsayer has been a subject of controversy among the Muslims over centuries. Some ?ulama argue that that hadith is not authentic on the ground that it is not logical and is not in line with the very teaching of the Qur?an, sound reason and the overall tenets of Islam. The Mu?tazlites are among those who belong to this group. Among the legalists, there are outstanding ?ulama who are also against this hadith such as Abu Ishaq al-Istarbadi of Shafi?iyyah, Abu Bakr al-Razi al-Jassas of Hanafiyyah, and Ibn Hazm al-Dhahabi of Zahiriyyah. In addition, Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Ridha are listed among the modern scholars who strongly argue against it. Other group of ?ulama nonetheless argue that that hadith is sound and authentic both in terms of its chain of narration as well as in terms of its text. Imam al-Bukhari, Imam Muslim and Ibn Qayyim belong to this second group of ?ulama. How do these two groups of ?ulama with conflicting views develop their argument on the subject, is the question that this paper is interested in answering.
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